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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

32nd Sunday of Year A – 2020

Listening to a speaker not very interesting, one may fall asleep.
Falling asleep watching a television program rather dull is also common.
It happens also that we fall asleep while waiting for someone who delays in coming.

Such situations are not serious and of not much consequence.
But… Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel – that of the Ten bridesmaids – (Mt.25:1-13) leads us to ask the question:
‘Are we falling asleep while waiting for… the Lord?’
This is more serious indeed.

It may be that we are distracted by more pressing concerns, more interesting activities, perhaps.
We have possibly somehow forgotten the presence of God and our commitment to follow him.
We may feel that he does not make his presence felt as we would like him to do…
His action in the world is not obvious and…
his intervention in our lives when we need him most does not always correspond to what we hope for.

So, Jesus’ words are a reminder – serious and urgent – that we are to keep watch,
to be alert and intent on welcoming him
at whatever time and in whatever situation he chooses to reach us.

Waiting for the Lord we should be waiting on the Lord:
being attentive to him and responsive to the inspiration of his Spirit.
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/32e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: www.marysrosaries.com   Pinterest

Feast of All Saints, Year A – 2020

We celebrate today the feast of all the saints – those well known and those perhaps not as familiar to us.
As we remember this particular saint, and that other, and others still,
we may stop thinking of them and start looking at our own lives.

And as we do, we may think that… we are not as holy as they are.
Not as patient, as humble, as prayerful, as faithful to God.
Not as generous, not as…
and our list gets longer mentioning all the qualities that we believe make a saint.

We may become dispirited and discouraged,
all the while forgetting the most important: what WE ARE.
The text of the 2nd reading says it clearly:

“Children of God! … that is what we are!
 
We have been created in God’s image – an image that cannot be erased or obliterated.
But… it can be damaged, the face of God in us can be… defaced,
yes, when we refuse to behave as his children.
But this is NOT the end of the story, God is always ready to restore his image in us.

There are people especially skillful in picture or image restoration.
A famous painting or a family picture may have been damaged but can be restored.

I personally believe that God’s Spirit present in us is a specialist in… image restoration!
The text of the 2nd reading goes on with these words:
 
What we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that… we shall be like him.”   (1 Jn.3:1-3)

We are, in fact, saints-in-the-making, nothing less!
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-toussaint-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: The New Daily

30th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Writing to the first Christians of Rome, Paul tells them:
“God has no favorites.” (Rom.2:11)

Yet, today’s 1st reading leads me to think somehow differently.
It seems that there are some people who are God’s favorites.
The text of Exodus mentions them (Ex.22:20-26):

      

“The foreigner (those we call migrants or refugees), the widow, the orphan, the poor.”
All of them have one thing in common: they are needy people.
And their need makes them reliant on God
Their need seems to draw God’s love and compassion in a special way.

They are aware that they cannot manage on their own,
They are conscious that they need the assistance of someone else.
God is willing, he is anxious even, to come to their help.
More still he orders his people – the Jews – not to mistreat or be unjust to such people.

Could it be that God wants needy people to become… OUR favorites also?
And to treat them with God’s own compassion…
 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: freerangekids.com   splash   AP News   The Guardian
 

29th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Cyrus the Great was born in the province of Persis, in southwest Iran in 590 BC and died in battle in 530 B.C.
History presents him as a great king whose rule stretched from India to the Mediterranean Sea; he possessed the largest empire in the world at that time.
His name is mentioned over 22 times in the Bible and his tomb in Iran can be visited today.

These biographical details are not the reason why Isaiah speaks of him in today’s 1st reading (Isaiah 45:4-6).
The purpose of Cyrus’ presence in this text is that he was chosen by God to play a special role in God’s plan for his people.
He was, in fact, God’s servant as the words of Isaiah make clear.

What has drawn my attention in this reading is NOT what Cyrus did, but what God did –
what God does over and over again.
The text reads:

“I (the Lord) summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me…
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that… people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

Cyrus does not know the God of Israel – the Lord – he does not acknowledge him as the only God.
Yet, the Lord blesses him in special ways with a title of honor and with strength.

To me, this is God, OUR God!
All too often, we think that we must do things for God – offer him prayers and sacrifices.
We somehow believe that we must gain his approval and merit his blessings.

Sad to say, we have inversed this wonderful reality that God is the first to shower his gifts on us.
We must come to realize that if we can do anything for God… it is because he, himself, enables us to do so!

In the beautiful book (and movie) The Color Purple, this is what Alice Walker, the Afro-American lady, has understood when she says with amazing assurance:

“People think pleasing God is all God cares about.
But any fool in the world can see he is always trying to please us back.”

And perhaps… to please us FIRST?!

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

 

Source: Image: Total loser and Proud    Pinterest

 

28th Sunday of Year A – 2020

 It is quite surprising how often we can catch ourselves saying: ‘I hope that…’
‘I hope that this will happen…’
‘I hope that this situation will improve…’
‘I hope that my child will soon get better…’
‘I hope that my friend will get a promotion…’

Somehow, it seems that our days are filled with… wishful thinking, or is it… hope?
HOPE is something strong, enduring, it can see us through the worse and enable us to overcome.
Yes, overcome the problems and difficulties, the obstacles and worries that threaten us with despair.

HOPE is the conviction that the best is yet to come – not because we wish for it,
but because God will make it happen.

This is what has come to my mind as I read the 1st reading of this Sunday (Is.25:6-10).
The text describes a feast where abundance and delight are offered for our pure enjoyment.
And to add to this we are told, indeed we are promised:

“The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.”
 
What else could we wish for?

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/28e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: aleteia

A nomination in Rome…

Pope Francis appoints “God particle” physicist to Vatican panel

Fabiola Gianotti directs the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Her life and work for the past several years have had a lot to do with collisions. But it’s the kind of collision that yields good things. 
If her work on a Vatican commission entails any sort of conflict with other members, such “collisions” could yield similarly good fruit. 

Pope Francis on Tuesday (September 29, 2020) appointed Gianotti, the director-general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Italian experimental particle physicist is perhaps best known for having overseen the work that led to the discovery of what many call the “God particle.” 

That was in 2012, when Gianotti led Atlas, one of several experiments being conducted at the the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The world’s largest particle accelerator, a 17-mile circular tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border, is used to smash protons into each other, traveling at near speed of light, to see what they are made of. 

First predicted in the 1960s by British particle physicist Peter Higgs, the Higgs boson particle is, in the words of the Guardian, the “elusive subatomic particle that gives mass to the basic building blocks of nature.” 

Gianotti became the first woman to be elected director-general of CERN, in 2016. Last year, she became the first director-general to be reelected to a full, five-year term. 

Source: Text (summarised): John Burger | Aleteia, Sep 30, 2020       Image: secretsoftheuniversefilm.com

27th Sunday of Year A – 2020

At times, when reading a text from Scripture, you may stop short and ask yourself: ‘Is this really possible?’

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (Ph.4:6-9) could provoke such a reaction.
Writing to the Philippians, the apostle Paul tells them:       

“Do not be anxious about anything.”
 
The question cannot fail to come to our minds: ‘Is this really possible?’
God knows how many things make us worry and how many situations bring anxiety to us.
Problems and difficulties are sometimes too many, too heavy, and we experience insecurity and fear.
We feel that what we have to face is just too much for us.

Paul tells the first Christians what they should do to overcome their anxiety:
“In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
 
THE problem might be that… we try to manage on our own… while God’s help is there at hand.
God’s strength, God’s comfort, God’s assistance, GOD is there… waiting that we turn to him –
turn to him with our requests for all that we are in need of.

The result of such relying on him can be astonishing.
Paul assures us:
 
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It is worth trying…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/27e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Inspirational Bible Verse Images – Knowing Jesus

26th Sunday of Year A – 2020

At times, it happens that we honestly wonder what God expects from us.
We ask ourselves what would be pleasing to him in our way of living from day to day.

The first Christians of Philippi may have also been asking themselves the same question.
In today’s 2nd reading, we read Paul’s words to them as he gives them a guideline which is fitting for us as well.
In simple words it demands of us: BE LIKE CHRIST.

It seems that Paul’s words are not easy to translate as different versions of the text (Ph.2:5) give us a somewhat different advice:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (New International Version)
Or:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (King James version)
Or:
Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” (Christian Standard Version)

But, if we think about it, the three versions come to the simple 3-word text above: BE LIKE CHRIST –
in the way you think, the way you behave, the way you relate to others!

A demanding programme of life… the one pleasing to him in the very way that Christ did!
 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/26e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: wisdomandinstruction.org
 

25th Sunday of Year A – 2020

It happens that we witness situations that go against what we would expect; what we see is totally different from the usual way.
At such times, someone can exclaim: “It’s the world upside down!”

I suppose that the last verse of this Sunday’s gospel (Mt.20:1-16) would lead us to say the same as we hear:

“The last will be first, and the first will be last.”
 
With God, it seems to be the reality in so many ways! A world… upside down!
It is a world where:

  • the sick can touch the Master and be cured
  • the lepers are not kept at a distance
  • the sinners are not condemned without an offer of forgiveness
  • the children are not sent away by adults too serious
  • the Law is at the service of people, not the other way around.

It is a world where the lowly, the impure, the outcast, the rejected, the unworthy are accepted and saved.
A world where… we, too, would feel welcomed – if we accept to take on Jesus’ way.

This way – God’s way – the prophets had spoken about it in his name (1st reading: Is.55:6-9).
Jesus came to live it in our midst inviting us to follow him on this way.

A world upside down but… where it is so good to live!
« The kingdom of God », nothing less!

 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: World of Empowerment

 

24th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Looking for pictures on the theme of forgiveness, I came across this illustration:

A small stone really… and it launched my reflection about this demand – for it is one – of the gospel text of this Sunday (Mt.18:21-35).

To forgive: a task that feels as a big stone, at times.
In fact, sometimes it appears to be a huge rock which we are unable to move,
let alone to dislodge from inside us!
To remove this from our hearts – because it usually hides deep in there – seems absolutely impossible.

Yet, if we think about it, forgiving is beneficial to ourselves perhaps even before than to the one we give the forgiveness.
We may not see it this way at first, but it can give such a feeling of liberation.
It can provide us with a tremendous sense of being rid of a burden that was bending us under its weight.

Being hurt can be really painful, especially if the hurt is caused willingly by someone we trusted.
But wanting to hurt back, trying to ‘get even’, as people say, keeping within oneself a burning desire to take revenge –
this is hurting oneself as well!

One day, I saw a poster with the caption : ’Let go, let God!’
This may be a good attitude in this respect:
Letting go of the hurt and the pain it brought,
Letting God give us HIS forgiveness to pass on to the one who hurt us…

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/24e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: tonyagnesi.com   Fine Art America